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If one of your vehicles is found with rebated (‘red’) diesel in its fuel tank or fuel system, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will investigate whether it is a one-off error or there is a suspicion of long term illegality.

Click here to contact us about your matter.

Investigations are costly and time consuming, often starting with a request for three or more years of fuel receipts and tachograph records. Vehicles are also subject to seizure, with significant sums payable to secure their release.

If, as the vehicle operator, you cannot demonstrate that sufficient DERV has been bought for the miles your vehicle has travelled, you will be required to pay back duty often running to tens of thousands of pounds.

Sometimes, vehicle operators may be unaware they have been supplied with laundered fuel, but HMRC expects operators to take comprehensive steps to guard against this.

If you are facing an excise duty case, our transport and logistics specialists can help you with case presentation, negotiation and appeals against civil penalties and refusals to restore vehicles. We can also advise you on procedures for minimising the risks of buying laundered fuel.

Key Contact

Tim Culpin

Tim Culpin

Transport Consultant


Tim has advised on all aspects of regulatory law and compliance management systems, with a particular speciality in road transport law.